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A coalition of support for veteran hiring

Liv Anderman
VP of Marketing
November 9, 2022

Military veterans make up nearly 6% of the United States’ work-eligible population, and yet, remain severely underrepresented in the workforce. According to a recent study by LinkedIn, veterans are 15.6% more likely to be unemployed than nonveterans. 

Their struggles in finding employment reveal a disconnect between veteran candidates and the rest of the general population. The same research found that:

  • Veterans remain with their initial company 8.3% longer than nonveterans
  • Veterans are 39% more likely to be promoted earlier than nonveterans
  • Veterans are 160% more likely than nonveterans to have a graduate degree or higher
  • Veterans with bachelor’s degrees have nearly 3x more work experience

How to hire veterans with Project Legion

Outside of their concrete qualifications, veterans bring a unique set of skills — skills that are often overlooked by companies in the hiring process — only available through training in the military. 

A coalition of leading employers and human resources professionals recognize this challenge and have come together to increase the representation of veterans and their spouses in the workforce. As part of Project Legion, a group of committed employers and technology vendors, led by Findem, is working together to improve the chances that veteran candidates are considered and hired for open positions.

A continuous pipeline of veteran talent

Project Legion members share the belief that the recruiting and hiring process should be more inclusive to veteran candidates and provide them with exposure to job opportunities they might not have otherwise. Randy Biskeborn, a 21-year veteran of both the US Navy and Air National Guard who is helping to spearhead the coalition, remembers facing similar challenges upon his transition to civilian life.

“I joined this initiative because I want to help veterans pave a path toward better opportunities,” he says, pointing out that veterans often struggle to translate their military experience into business competencies. Because of this vernacular gap, veterans aren’t always equitably included in the recruiting and hiring process.

Project Legion aims to change this by connecting candidates to top companies with the types of open roles they’re seeking. These companies have committed to hiring veterans in 2022 and beyond as part of Project Legion: Celanese, Equinix, Findem, Gilder, Guardant Health, Intuitive Surgical, Omnicell, and RingCentral. Findem will provide all of them with a continuous pipeline of candidates for veteran hiring.

How does Project Legion match veterans to civilian jobs?

Companies and candidates can apply online for free to join Project Legion and immediately tap into the community’s resources. Companies list their openings across 5 high-volume and in-demand roles and Findem helps match veterans to civilian jobs, including:

  • HR generalist
  • Business development representative
  • Customer success manager
  • Front-end engineer
  • Support engineer

While veterans may not be traditional fits for the above roles, their attributes make them some of the most qualified candidates in the market. Biskeborn says these attributes — which include qualities like adaptability, trainability, and leadership — may seem like common sense, but they’re specific to veterans’ broad range of military experiences.

According to our own data, veterans not only outperform the general workforce population, but remain more loyal to their current positions over time. As the graphs below show, veterans are especially successful in sales and customer success roles and tend to remain with the same company at higher rates than their nonveteran counterparts.

How companies are hiring veterans in 2022 and beyond

“Companies have their own culture, just like the military has its own culture,” Biskeborn says. “It’s kind of like an iceberg, where everyone understands the things above the water — uniforms, medals, traditions — but everything below the water is what companies care about, like integrity, honesty, and work ethic.”

Using Findem’s platform, which includes a massive database of nearly 4 million veteran candidates, Project Legion takes these attributes and builds a candidate pipeline for each of the selected roles, searching for candidates based on the “veteran” attribute in combination with other attributes.

Biskeborn and other Project Legion luminaries with military experience reach out to candidates for each role via the Findem platform, acting as mentors for veterans making the transition. “We’re acting as a translator and support system for both candidates and companies,” Biskeborn says. “I can speak C-Suite and veteran. I can translate what a hiring manager says so it makes sense to the candidates.”

Once candidates speak to the luminaries, they’re screened and given the opportunity to interview with participating companies. The first company to have an offer accepted by the candidate makes the hire.

Forging a path forward for veteran hiring

Despite the effort of so many companies to improve veteran representation, Biskeborn says there’s no “magic solution” to today’s lagging numbers. “Project Legion is helping us take the 50,000-foot view so we can address the problem holistically,” he says. “We’re trying to work through the muck and identify the attributes that will get veterans hired.”

Hari Kolam, CEO of Findem, echoes Biskeborn’s sentiment. “The hard truth is veterans do not have equal footing in the job search process,” he says. “That can impede their career potential and have far-reaching efforts on workforce diversity.”

Powered by Findem’s sourcing technology, Project Legion is helping leaders across the industry to hire vets now. To learn more about the coalition, please read the press release or visit the initiative’s website.

If you’re interested in learning more about hiring veterans at your organization or want to make data-driven people decisions, request a demo today.